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Nymphomaniac-24-photo-by-Christian-Geisnaes
Jamie Bell in Nymphomaniac: ban this sick filth

Fisting, facesitting and spanking: what else would you ban?

The internet reacts to new UK porn law with #ThingsNowBannedInUKPorn

Anybody with a passing interest in spanking, fisting, female ejaculation, caning or aggressive whipping will have heard that the UK government has just banned their depiction in internet porn, thanks to an amendment to the 2003 Communications Act. 

The British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) wants video-on-demand (VoD) online pornography to adhere to the same guidelines set out for adult DVDs sold in sex shops. To that end, UK pornographers will have to adhere to the BBFC's totally arbitrary list of banned acts, which also includes penetration by any object "associated with violence", physical or verbal abuse, watersports, strangulation, facesitting and fisting. The final three acts are viewed by the board as potentially "life-endangering".

But just as one courageous Scot once said: "You can take our freedom, but you'll never take our internet porn." To that end, Britons have proudly taken a stand against censorship – by bravely taking the piss out of it under the #ThingsNowBannedInUKPorn hashtag: 

The new legislation only applies to pornographic material created in the UK, which means that your innocuously named bookmark folder of hardcore, all-American James Deen videos is safe. But independent camgirls and BDSM porn creators – many of whom rely on people actually purchasing their material as opposed to idly loading up Pornhub – are up in arms over the change.

"There are now rules on how big a sex toy I can use on cam," BDSM sex worker subSinead told the Mirror. "Which minister is in charge of that, are they going to come round and measure my sex toys and tell me which ones Cameron approves of? I would love to be a fly on the wall at that cabinet meeting."

"What I do is consensual, between adults and harms no one, the fact the government sees a problem with that says all you need to know about their attitude to sex."

The ban doesn't just limit what you can see in porn; it also, by default, imposes its own ideas of what is and isn't acceptable in sexuality. Acts such as female ejaculation and facesitting might not be your cup of tea, but it also prioritises the depiction of female pleasure – sometimes, as with facesitting, at the expense of a very uncomfortable man. So why do these acts get the chop, but bukkake doesn't? 

By the British government's own standards, certain non-pornographic films and art would almost certainly be censored. Nobuyoshi Araki's images of tied-up Japanese women would raise eyebrows, Tom of Finland's leather-bound muscle men would almost certainly be on the list of #ThingsNowBannedInUKPorn – and Lars von Trier's bondage-heavy Nymphomaniac would be straight out of the question (plus: it also features public urination). 

The new ban is just one additional strand to the government's Mary Whitehouse policy to internet pornography. In 2013, the Tories made all internet service providers (ISPs) implement default internet porn filters for all households. Existing users and new customers would have to inform their ISP that they would prefer to turn off the "family-friendly filter" to access adult material. The first sites to (accidentally) fall foul of David Cameron's Firewall of Porn? LGBT websites and Childline. Oops. 

But if there's one thing the internet has transformed, it's porn consumption habits. According to our recent Dazed Sex Survey, we fucking love watching XXX content. Three out of five men and women watch porn at least once a week, with 16% of respondents logging on six or more times a week. So will the ban actually change your viewing habits? Or is the government just swimming against the tide of internet-enabled filth?